Everything is illuminated Introduction essay

Topics: Jonathan Safran Foer, Family, Nightclub, Communism / Pages: 3 (927 words) / Published: Sep 14th, 2014
Commentary on introduction Ana Sofia Flores
The opening extract of Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer introduces us to our narrator Alexander Perchov. It is written from a very amusing first person perspective as the Ukrainian character does not speak English well and makes many mistakes with idioms and is not politically correct. Alex comes off as obnoxious, materialistic in how he constantly mentions money and sex obsessed but the reader rather enjoys this foreign stereotype. His funny use of language and love of all that is American makes the reader like Alex in this introduction. The novel is set in Ukraine and here we see how the former communist country and the citizens are fascinated by American culture; cappuccinos, Michael Jackson and discotheques. Important motifs in the novel that are presented here are identity, heritage and family.
As we first meet Alex we begin to wonder why his family is so important in a novel based on “the hero’s” heritage. However humorous the family may be presented, the description makes it evident that the Perchovs are not your typical happy nuclear family. The widowed grandfather who believes that he is blind and needs a “seeing-eye bitch” named “Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior” is amusing at first, however; it is very sad once you get past the humor and perceive what a sad life he has and how he needs the dog to shut out the loneliness he feels. Igor, Alex’s “miniature brother” is in my opinion the saddest character in this extract, and the most vulnerable because of his young age. He is called the “clumsy one” because he is full of bruises; bruises given to him by his father. But the affection that Alex begins to unveil for Little Igor is touching and a nice change from how Igor is treated. Also, the theme of family and heritage is presented. The closeness that it conveyed in the descriptions emphasizes the importance that Alex gives to family,

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